Gaza Thousands of Palestinians demand Abbas' resignation

Gaza Thousands of Palestinians demand Abbas' resignation
Thousands of protesters gathered in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to call for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign after his attempts to pressure Hamas with financial cuts in the impoverished enclave. The pro-Hamas crowd gathered at al-Sarya square yelled for the long-serving leader to "leave" and called on the PA to pay the full salaries of public sector employees in Gaza.

They also demonstrated against Israel's more than a decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

The demonstration was called for by the Gaza-based Popular Movement for National Salvation, which comprises Palestinian factions including Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip, and other Abbas opponents in the enclave.

"It's an historic moment where we are standing here against injustice and tyranny," the movement said in a statement.

"We are here to stress that we are not the slaves of the ruler… We came here to call for general elections, including presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections."

Since 2006, there have been no parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories and no presidential elections since the year before that. Palestine's Wafa news agency, meanwhile, reported thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday in support of Abbas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Continue... 

James Koroma

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